pkmango7

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pkmango7

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The GAF OT's were one of a kind. Even as a non-member I lurked them occasionally for news/info since there was a thread for damn near every niche, with lots of deep cuts, savvy discussion, and bugfixes. Not without their own bad eggs of course but it sure beat a meme machine subreddit or some guy's Discord.

GB doesn't always have an active community for say, Total War, Falcom, or the latest Etrian Odyssey. That said, the individual game forums here are at least relaxed and diverse in users compared to other sites, which I often find refreshing.

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pkmango7

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#2  Edited By pkmango7

Automata's got some magical pedigree for sure. Whether you're into Yoko Taro's bizarre writing or Platinum's combat polish, it all comes together here, and Keiichi Okabe tops it off with another mesmerizing soundtrack. I didn't fully realize until I played it, but Platinum was a great pick particularly for their experience with creative perspective changes and dynamic soundtracks.

It's got all the trademarks, from sudden genre shifts and a plethora of bad endings to animation cancels and taunts that increase damage taken and dealt.

Really happy for everyone involved and I just hope the PC version is stable at this point, because I'd gladly double dip.

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pkmango7

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It's one of the better Tales series games, which isn't saying much since the series peaked back in 2008 with Tales of Vesperia (Abyss and Symphonia are also very good).

Yeah, I should probably clarify the seemingly glowing praise for Berseria in particular is only relative to the series' decline in recent years, and it's still got similar symptoms with the other games such as the midgame slog.

For a returning player though I feel more comfortable recommending it over Graces, Xillia, or Zestiria.

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pkmango7

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I do like it! I'm no Tales expert (played Symphonia, Abyss, Graces, Zestiria) and I've been wary of the series since I bounced off of Graces hard, but Berseria has been a pleasant surprise. Combat has been streamlined to be more combo based, with various ways to extend your combo and be more aggressive, which I'm all about. You also get more ways to customize your arte strings as the game progresses and they did away with the tedious crafting system from Zestiria. And while I hesitate to call any JRPG story good, it's a nice change of pace from the standard framework with some SMT/Berserk vibes in terms of Law vs. Chaos.

My only two real knocks are: a lot of would-be cutscenes have been delegated to skits (which sometimes results in 3 skits after a major story beat basically reiterating the same things) and dungeons are pretty drab with a lack of puzzles. Not really a big deal personally, I don't expect amazing dungeons from these games and the actual skits outside of the main plot are great.

The PC version is not on fire actually, and that AI glitch has indeed been patched. There's even a mod that improves performance and adds some functionality, though I use it mostly for the DS4 button prompts.

As for Velvet's outfit, it's the result of cobbling together a bunch of leftover gear in a prison, at least that's the ingame justification. Sure I guess? Don't judge a book by its cover though! I think they did a good job making the main character of a revenge story interesting.

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@hassun said:

Great, now all this Drew meme stuff just makes me sad.

Can this just become a general Drew gif thread?

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#6  Edited By pkmango7

Drew's such a big part of what has made the site great, both on and off camera. I mean it almost feels as if all the greatest moments over the years have Drew either in the thick of it or behind the scenes. For me, Flight Club was the push that got me to finally make an account and sub to support the site.

All the best and know that we appreciate the years of hard work, low key goofs, and delightfully bizarre cultural exchanges. I can only hope the Extra Life streams live on somehow!!

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Drew's been on top of his game for years and I'm glad we can finally share the magic with the rest of the world.

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pkmango7

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Hopefully I can outline what distinguishes duals since people seem to either love or hate them, I was pretty lukewarm about them too until I got to some of the higher tier skills. Dual swords are highly dependent on weapon skills, and I think it's no coincidence that its main stat, Skill, gives 1 samurai point per (the only other 1:1 stat being Strength). Here are some thoughts on stances and key skills:

  • High stance - Duals excel in dealing absurd damage while enemies are out of stamina and stunlocked, and the skills in high stance do just that. Windstorm in particular is a nice balance of damage and safety.
  • Low stance - The highlight of this weapon and what you'll stay in the most. Quick start up, little to no recovery, and a ton of rapid hits that allow you to apply status effects within seconds. Also the only weapon type that gets a skill that extends dodge invulnerability in low stance, which even adds a damage boost when proc'd.
  • God of Wind - Low/Mid. Ki damage combo, bread and butter. Every weapon has a means of dealing high ki damage. What separates duals is that their kick is followed by two quick slashes which can't be deflected. Combined with low stance's quick attacks you can basically rush down any human enemy, while having a nice ki damage combo for large enemies that can be ended early if needed.
  • Sign of the Cross - Dual's quickdraw, slightly faster than Iai for slightly less damage. Although you have to manually enter sheathe stance during a Ki Pulse it's still quite fast.
  • Momentum - Mystic Art. This is where it all comes together. Decreases the ki usage of subsequent attacks, and all of your basic attacks and high damage skills are multi-hit.

Dual swords suffer from terrible range and a lack of AoE motions though, making some aggressive enemies problematic. As a result I think either the sword or spear are good complements when you need to focus on keeping distance and countering. I went with the spear and I also love it. It's like they rolled all of the useful polearm movesets from Dark Souls into one. I feel like you really can't go wrong with any weapon here, it's great.

I might switch from spear to sword though, just because that 3 swords aesthetic sounds so so good.

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pkmango7

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I was extremely skeptical at first since I find most games that draw inspiration from Souls lacking in their own creativity or missing something. But Nioh surprised me with its technical chops, and it plays different enough to not feel merely derivative. For starters, I initially thought the Ki Pulse mechanic was pointless, but there's actually a lot of depth to it and a nice sense of progression in the form of skills that complement it (especially the one that restores a little extra stamina when you switch stances). One on one fights against humanoid opponents like Muneshige and Yuki-Onna are a blast and I enjoy the little backstories you get with each guardian spirit.

On the other hand, the soundtrack and level design seem lackluster to me compared to Fromsoft's take, they serve their purpose well enough though. Loot system was frustrating before I realized most purples come from revenants (joining the clan with luck bonus helped). I also feel like stats are somewhat inconsequential, as long as you throw points into the main stat of your weapon it's kind of hard to screw up your build, and I see most people spec in Spirit because it just seems like a no-brainer to get those extra bonuses. On top of that, elements and Discord seem way too strong and you don't get much benefit from ignoring them like you would going pure physical in Souls.

Regardless, I'll probably try additional playthroughs with Kusari/ninjutsu and Axe/heavy armor, I'm still surprised how much I enjoy it. And while I think the level design is hit or miss, it's still fun to explore and try to spot bait but fall for it anyway (my whole run through the Iga ninja playhouse).